F is for ‘Forgiveness’. 5 Reasons Why Forgiveness is the Best Revenge.

5 Reasons Why Forgiveness is the Best Revenge.

Forgiveness Freedom

So, what is so great about forgiveness? Can we really forgive and forget? Have you experienced the healing power of ‘forgiving yourself’?

Someone wise once told me: ‘Unforgiveness is like punching yourself in the face and expecting someone else to feel the pain.’ That being said, why is it that we often find it so difficult to forgive the past and move on with our lives? The answer, I believe, is because we get caught up in the erroneous idea that forgiving equals excusing, condoning or giving pardon to other people’s past behaviour that has really hurt us. When we have been really hurt by someone’s actions, we become so angry, and feel so betrayed and vulnerable, that we just want revenge. Sweet and slow revenge!!

When you have been badly hurt, forgiveness is the last thing on your mind (it’s ok to admit this, you are human!) – you want the perpetrator to understand the pain that they have caused, and to suffer as you have suffered: ‘An eye for an eye…’ and all that. You are so wounded that you cannot forgive and that unforgiveness is a strong fuel that powers your desire for revenge. You feel entitled to vengeance and dishing out retribution feels to be the only salve for your inflamed sense of hurt. And yet…you do nothing. You are a good person and you do not want to go to jail so you resist the urge to batter the perpetrator’s door down with an axe! You swallow down your anger, your hurt, and your need to administer suffering as you have suffered. Over time you get sick, maybe you get angrier, maybe you can’t form meaningful and loving relationships because you cannot trust that you won’t get hurt again. The unforgiveness becomes your dark and poisonous companion who builds a re-inforced wall between you and your natural resting-state of peace.

But it’s not too late to break down that wall! What if I told you that you can achieve the revenge you seek in a way that really will make you feel better, and for which you won’t go to jail? What if I could assure you that it is forgiveness itself, that is the best revenge for past hurts?

‘But what happened to me was really bad. He treated me like garbage, I was abused, I hate this person, I really don’t think I can forgive them.’ I hear you say. If that is so, then the weapon of forgiveness will be even more powerful for you, if you learn how to use it. Get ready to take back the sense of peace that is rightfully yours! Here are some examples of situations that hurt, and 5 reasons why forgiveness is the best revenge…

1. Forgiveness is the best revenge because there is nothing more infuriating to someone who would deliberately hurt you, than you moving on with your life and being happy.

What happened? : My boyfriend of two years cheated on me. I forgave him and I thought that because I had forgiven him, I should take him back. He cheated on me again. I was devastated and hurt and broke up with him immediately. I now hate him, I hate myself fo being such an idiot, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive again. Forgiveness didn’t work for me.

Take revenge! : Forgive him again. Don’t get confused and think that forgiveness means that you have to take him back- it’s not so. True forgiveness actually has nothing to do with condoning the behaviour of a cheating ex. It’s all about you. The extent to which you are willing to forgive is simply the extent to which you are willing to keep giving your cheating ex control of your suffering.

Forgiveness = Taking Control.

When you forgive, you acknowledge that you have been hurt, and you make the choice that hurt will not continue to define you in the present. Of course, you are entitled to grieve when you have been hurt; let yourself get mad, get it all out of your system, and when you’re done, visualize the offender in your mind and say. ‘I forgive you. I release you. I release myself from your control.’ (Go here for more on positive affirmations.)

2. Forgiveness is the best revenge because you’ll live a longer and healthier life.

What happened? : My mother abandoned me as a child. She left when I was 3 years old and I never saw her again. I have felt bitterness towards her all my life. I have often thought about hurting her the way she hurt me. I don’t think I could ever forgive her.

Take revenge! : For a moment, lets forget that this is about your mother. Let’s forget that forgiveness is about anyone or anything outside of yourself. I want you to think about yourself only. Forgiveness is a process that you can go through to bring peace, contentment and physical wellness to yourself. Being in a constant state of unforgiveness is really bad for your health. The emotions associated with unforgiveness cause chemical, hormonal and immune changes in your body which, over an extended period of time, can make you physically ill. Don’t let the past ruin your present and future health. Forgiveness is as much an important part of your healthcare routine as brushing your teeth and eating well! Forgiveness benefits your health in a similar manner to kindness. For an in-depth look at the science behind the health benefits of forgiveness and kindness, head over to Dr David Hamilton’s website.

3. Forgiveness is the best revenge because when you forgive, you take back your own power.

What happened? : My ex-boss was such a bully. Every day he made embarrassing remarks to me and singled me out from the rest of my colleagues when he felt like taking out his rage on someone. I put up with this for 5 years before being made to feel so miserable that I had to leave a job that I essentially loved. I’ll never forgive him for that.

Take revenge! : When you choose to forgive, this is the best kind of revenge because you re-empower yourself. This empowerment comes from recognizing that you have a choice: You can choose to continue to feel hurt, resentful and angry, or, you can choose to take responsibility for your reaction and work on being a person who forgives, even if it is difficult. Recognizing that you have a choice is truly empowering. Bullying is a terrible thing and it is understandable that you would find it difficult to forgive- but ‘finding it difficult’ to forgive is a whole lot better than having no choice at all. You can always make the choice to forgive and release all the tension and anxiety within you, that is embodied by unforgiveness. When you choose to forgive a bully, you release yourself from the feeling of victimization and you can begin to heal. What could be more empowering than that? Give yourself love and positive acknowledgement when you are able to forgive, it is a big ask.

4. Forgiveness is the best revenge because learning how to forgive protects you from Forgiveness dove monkeyfuture hurts.

What happened? : I got scammed! Someone hacked into my bank account and withdrew all my money 4 days before Christmas. I have 2 kids and if it hadn’t been for the generosity of friends and family, Christmas would have been ruined. These soulless thieves left me broke. The people who did this have never been caught and I’m having difficulty forgiving because there has been no justice.

Take revenge! : Forgiveness is the best revenge here because when you forgive, you make space in your heart for two very important questions. First, did you learn anything from this experience? Second, (and this is a hard one!) Is there anything positive that you can take from this experience? If you can forgive, you will be able to see what can be learned. Forgiving, here, has nothing to do with forgiving bad actions, you are using forgiveness for you. Can you imagine forgiving stealing to the extent that you are able to see something very precious in the experience? Visualize having a conversation with the thieves. In your mind say: ‘I forgive you. I know you act out of fear. I wish you love and I hope that you can overcome the things that make you afraid.’ If you are able to do this, you will discover within yourself, that you can protect yourself from future hurts simply by deciding to be a person who forgives. You can choose to be a person who forgives no matter what, and in doing so, you protect yourself from future hurts which are deepened and extended by unforgiveness. Practice forgiving now and you will be able to cope, forgive, and move on in future. Forgiveness can only make you stronger and less fearful when applied in this way…try it!

5. Forgiveness is the best revenge because it really is the cure for feeling sad, angry, frustrated and hurt.

What happened? : My father passed away several years ago. We weren’t on good terms because he was largely absent from our lives when my brother and I were kids. The times when he was around, he was violent and angry. He never apologized or admitted his mistakes and now that he’s gone, I still can’t forgive him. I don’t believe he was sorry and now I’ll never know.

Take revenge! : Some people who hurt you cannot apologize because they have passed away. Some people who have hurt you will not apologize for various reasons. If forgiveness was dependent on the apologies of others, human beings would have blown the world up already. Think of forgiveness like the antidote to a poison. It doesn’t matter how much someone in the past has tried to poison you with anger, hurt, fear, bad behaviour, selfishness, insensitivity etc., you can choose to administer the antidote at any moment. Let that moment be now.

Until Next Week: Practice forgiveness whenever you can. Start with the person in the mirror. You deserve forgiveness, you are a good person, you don’t need to be so hard on yourself. Look in the mirror, put your hand over your heart and say, ‘I forgive you’.

Saw something particularly horrible in the news? Close your eyes and say ‘I forgive you’. Get familiar with what it means to forgive, what it feels like, and why it’s important.

Have you had any inspirational experiences with forgiveness? Is there something that you have struggled to forgive? Comment below- I’d love to read what you have to share.

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Next Week: G is for ‘Ghosts’. I will be conducting a video interview with a very special guest. We will be discussing many aspects of ghostly phenomena…not to be missed!

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23 thoughts on “F is for ‘Forgiveness’. 5 Reasons Why Forgiveness is the Best Revenge.

  1. Pingback: How to Forgive even When it is Difficult? | Christianity Times

  2. Julie

    Hey there 🙂

    I read this post yesterday and have been thinking about it all day – who have i forgiven and who i haven’t, did the forgiveness help, did i feel better and so on. I don’t like to hold grudges so i often forgive quickly and eventually i forget the hurt or the disappointment, so at this point i have a pretty clean slate. However, this got me thinking, perhaps there are people who haven’t forgiven me for something? What if there are people who i have hurt unintentionally and don’t know about it? This kinda scared me. About 5 years ago, i made it a point to apologize to people i have done wrong to and, as awkward as it was, i tried my best to answer any questions they had about why i did what i did and so on. I am not sure if that helped anyone though, but i hope at least i set a good example. So overall, i agree with your post, you should forgive and let go because anger often feels like carrying an invisible backpack full of rocks on your back and it only brings you down, you and the people around you who haven’t done anything wrong. I think the hardest part is letting go of the residual feelings like trust issues or the loss of faith, even if you forgive one person it doesn’t mean you will trust, believe or have faith into the next person. If you ever do a post on “moving on” i would love to read it 🙂

    Always a pleasure reading your posts!

    Reply
    1. writerlauren Post author

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for taking the time to write such a personal and insightful comment. It really is great that you’ve worked so hard to forgive. The road to forgiveness can be a tough one but it is also a worthwhile one. I’d like to respond to two points that you raised in your comment.

      1. That people may not have forgiven you.

      2. That there can be residual feelings of distrustfulness or reservation, even after forgiveness has been given.

      In response to point 1. You can never be in control of whether or not someone else will forgive. Just as you had to find your own way to forgive them, they have to find their own way to forgive you. You can choose to forgive yourself for what you think you may have done to them. And let that be enough.

      2. Residual feelings of hurt can pop up at times when we feel vulnerable. It’s a part of being human, I’m afraid. When this happens, close your eyes, take a deep breath and say ‘I know why I am having this feeling. I forgive this feeling and I forgive myself.’ Think about forgiveness not just as a one-time thing, but as something you can continue to practice. Offer forgiveness to the feelings that arise when you have forgiven. Over time, you will realize the depths to which forgiveness can go to release you from not only the past, but your internal struggles.

      I hope this helps! I will keep in mind your suggestion about ‘moving on’ perhaps when we get to the letter m. Thank you for reading.

      Lauren xx

      Reply
  3. Julie

    Lauren, Thank you for your suggestions. I guess forgiveness is an acquired skilled that could be perfected and implemented in our daily lives even. I will definitely keep in mind your words (“I know why I am having this feeling. I forgive this feeling and I forgive myself”) for a next time, because i tend to eat at myself with negativity occasionally. Trying to fix that 🙂
    Thanks again! Looking forward to your next post 🙂

    Reply
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  8. Amy

    I stumbled upon this and it made me cry. There is forgiving that I am still holding on from handing over. I am realizing I still harbor anger and resentment towards many men in my life and it is affecting my current relationship. My desire for revenge has blinded and sheltered me. I feel this cosmic weight on my soul and I’m screaming for release. This post has given me a good dose of clarity. Bless you.

    Reply
    1. writerlauren Post author

      Hello,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a personal comment. I am so glad that I was able to help you understand the importance of forgiveness, and I sincerely hope that you will be able to offer forgiveness not just to others but to yourself. Give yourself time, space and patience to heal- there is nothing that represents forgiveness more than that. x

      Reply
      1. Amy Sheridan

        Thank you so much for your response. I know it will take time, and it’s hard to see the light that I know is shining on the other end of this tunnel. But I have faith that I will overcome this.

  9. Jay

    if people would take your advice, we certainly could have smaller judicial system, and not waste so much human energy over stupid disputes in the courts.!!?

    Reply
    1. writerlauren Post author

      Hi Jay, thanks for your comment. You are absolutely right. Justice certainly has its place, but baying for blood-thirsty ‘justice’ instead of forgiveness creates extended, angry periods that waste precious time and ultimately, does not serve to make the accuser feel better.

      Reply
    2. writerlauren Post author

      Hi Jay, thank you for your comment. Indeed, you are correct. There is one aspect of our human instincts that believes ‘an eye for an eye’ is the right way to exact justice, but I do not believe that this is correct. A person who commits a crime cannot help themselves, they had no choice in the brain that made the decision, nor the circumstances that caused the decision, so to punish is inappropriate. That is not to say that there should be no consequences to actions, simply that punishment and justice are not necessarily the same thing and I believe that forgiveness can help us separate the two. Thanks again for your comment, come back soon! xx

      Reply
  10. ali kairugavu

    i thank u for writing about forgiveness being the best revenge. for me am a Ugandan but right now as i talk am bankrupt yet i have some one am demanding one hundred fifty thousand Ugandan money . her phones are off and i don’t know where to find here what advise do you give me? Ali kairugavu.

    Reply
    1. writerlauren Post author

      Hi Ali, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry that you’re in a difficult situation at the moment. I am not able to give you the answer to your problems, but I hope you manage to achieve resolution. Acting through anger nearly always makes things worse so I hope that forgiveness will help you make wise choices with a clear mind. Love to you Ali. xx

      Reply
  11. Patsy

    Hi, thank you so much for this post, as I was googling up on how to forgive I saw this decide to read and loved the way you express it. I am a believer of Jesus Christ and even as a believer knowing how important forgiveness is for my salvation I am STRUGGLING with forgiving my husband for 12 years, we have a beautiful 11 year old daughter that loves him very much, he was my best friend and his daughter hero. He left us for another woman more so the wickedness and deception with it. Its been one year now, I cannot bring myself to speak to him, I look in the mirror everyday and say those magic words I forgive you for what you have done to me and our daughter, it feels good for a while but the hatred keeps coming back. But after reading this it gives a little more insight on what forgiveness really means. I will work even harder than I am right now on forgiving my husband. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. writerlauren Post author

      Hi Patsy, thank you for taking the time to write such an open and heartfelt comment. I’m sorry for the difficult experience you’ve gone through lately. If I am honest, forgiveness is a choice you have to keep choosing. You mentioned saying ‘I forgive you’ as magic words and I’ve felt that way in the past too. I thought that I could say them and *poof!* all my troubles would vanish, but I learned that that’s not quite how it works. You will have recurring negative thoughts about your situation and yourself, and you just have to keep on forgiving those too. Forgiveness, unfortunately, does not stop your mind from spontaneously jumping to negative thoughts, but forgiveness is a way to deal with those thoughts when they arise, rather than letting them take root. I hope that helps, just be kind and patient with yourself as much as possible. Please do keep in touch about how you’re doing…xx

      Reply
    1. writerlauren Post author

      If you wait for an apology to forgive, you may never get it. And if you never get it then you will never forgive. That is a lot of power and energy to give away to someone else! What if you did not need an apology to forgive? What if you decided to offer forgiveness to the other person anyway, even if they never apologize? You don’t have to tell the person that you forgive him or her. The experience of forgiveness is for you. Just decide, in your mind, to move on and if old thoughts arise, just accept them and let them pass. If you do, then you take back your power and give yourself the gift of freedom from the hurtful experience. You always have the power to do that.

      Reply

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